“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and whats happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there - with your eyes open - and lived to see it.”
Kabhi Halaat. Kabhi Sailaab.
*Sometimes circumstances. Sometimes deluge.
In the silence of heaven
In the roaring fires of hell
Woman, tu es belle.
Manila envelope in a varied sallow saucy size
small, second-hand, shallow, saturnine surprise
a devious packet of the world's biggest skanky lie
with an American postage stamp on its tawny thigh
Oh boy! it can touch the Empire State sky! It can fly!
© Jaspreet Mann
“By and large over time, pain turns to grief, grief turns to silence, and silence turns to lonesomeness, as vast and bottomless as the dark oceans... You think you cannot live anymore. You think that the light of your soul has been put out and that you will stay in the dark forever. But when you are engulfed by such solid darkness, when you have both eyes closed to the world, a third eye opens in your heart. And only then do you come to realize that eyesight conflicts with inner knowledge. No eye sees so clear and sharp as the eye of love. After grief comes another season, another valley, another you. And the lover who is nowhere to be found, you start to see everywhere.”
― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love
Turkish author Elif Shafak's picture courtesy- Politico Europe
I love parables, fables and little stories that are seemingly kiddish but hold in their realm a wealth of knowledge and understanding about human life. Human relationships are so complex that it is almost always impossible to decipher what people really want. There is a beautiful anecdote that cleverly illustrates this point. Mulla Nasreddin was a wise man and a populist philosopher known for his unparalleled wisdom, wit and intelligence. He was born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskişehir Province, present-day Turkey and died in 13th century in Akşehir, near Konya, a capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in today's Turkey.
Mulla Nasreddin met his friend in the street one day and started talking about his love life. “I thought I had found the perfect woman,” Mulla said. “She was beautiful and had the most pleasing features a man could imagine. She was exceptional in every way, except she had no knowledge.”
“So I traveled farther and met a woman who was both beautiful and intelligent. But, alas, we couldn’t communicate.”
“After further travels, I met a lady who had everything: perfect mind, perfect intelligence, and great beauty, all the features I was looking for, but...”
“What happened?” asked the friend. “Why didn’t you marry her at once?”
“Ah well,” said Mulla, “as luck would have it, she was looking for the perfect man.”
(Mulla Nasreddin always makes me smile, no matter what 😊 )
What happens when we live poetry?
It turns to light
illuminates our startled sky
begins to fly
and leaves comets in our eyes.
© Jaspreet Mann
“More than anything, I began to hate women writers. Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Browning, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf. Bronte, Bronte, and Bronte. I began to resent Emily, Anne, and Charlotte—my old friends—with a terrifying passion. They were not only talented; they were brave, a trait I admired more than anything but couldn't seem to possess. The world that raised these women hadn't allowed them to write, yet they had spun fiery novels in spite of all the odds. Meanwhile, I was failing with all the odds tipped in my favor. Here I was, living out Virginia Woolf's wildest feminist fantasy. I was in a room of my own. The world was no longer saying, "Write? What's the good of your writing?" but was instead saying "Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me.”
― Catherine Lowell, The Madwoman Upstairs
“You are my sympathy - my better self - my good angel; I am bound to you by a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely; a fervant, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you - and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
My mother taught
word by word,
to the spectacular
the last sentence,
in a fiery dialect
of her own.
could save me,
let it be known.
taught me English
what she meant
when she said,
"Let English be
in your bones
when you cry,
you'll never cry
© Jaspreet Mann